Monday, July 02, 2007

4th of July customs

Independence Day, the only holiday that celebrates the United States, is a national holiday marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Fourth of July celebrations often take place outdoors. Independence Day is a federal holiday, so all non-essential federal institutions are closed on that day. Many polititians make it a point on this day to appear at a public event to praise the nation's heritage, society and people. Speeches and editorials may invoke American Revolutionary themes such as the founding fathers , the Constitution, the Liberty Bell, and democratic principles such as liberty, freedom, equality under the law, inalienable rights, and representative government.
Families often mark the Fourth of July with a picnic or barbecue, and take advantage of the long weekend or off-day to gather with relatives. Decorations (e.g., streamers, balloons, and clothing) generally are colored red, white, and blue due to the colors of the American flag. Because Independence Day is in the summer, bathing suits have once in a while been given the American flag design. Parades are often held in the morning, baseball games played (July 4th being nearly halfway into the baseball season), and fireworks displays in public parks in the evening. Other traditions include face painting for children and tossing of a football or frisbee.

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